>> now a few interviews from liberty university. we spoke with several authors as part of her university series. first we talk with michael stabler, the author of eternal vigilance. >> we want to interview series two the vice president, it deana belasco and professor of law as well and iraq are of the liberty center for law and policy. could you give us an overview of liberty university in lynchburg? >> liberty university was founded in 1970 with 154 students. ..
buildings torn down. so the school has, instead of remain agent status quo, has exponentially increased. so they have a lot of room to grow. >> host: what are your concerns as a dean and a vice president of a university about online college? >> guest: well, certainly the concern of anyone with regards to online is to make sure that it is as rigorous as the residential program. one of the uincome -- unique things about online is you can get experienced individuals in all areas of life that would otherwise not be fulltime teachers because they're ceos corporations or business leader and they don't want to teach fulltime but they will be able to be some of your top level experts that can teach online. so we give them an opportunity
to have interaction and we're rigorous about the online program to make sure there's parity in terms of the rigor and the quality of our residential program. we want to make sure it maintains a very high level of quality. >> host: when you say liberty is a christian university, what does that mean? >> guest: we believe in jesus christ as our lord and savior, and that permeates everything we do. we want to make sure all we do glorifies the lord and we want to do it the very best so liberty has been the number one debate anymore the country for over a decade. we're the only school that has been ranked number one in all three debate ranking systems.
the law school started in 2004, and received accreditation in 18 months which was faster than any other law school in history. you can't have accreditation any quicker than that. some some of the achievements at the law school are phenomenal in terms of the competitions. we're very competitive. we just won the national moot court competition and constitutional law. we won the entertainment law competition negotiation program two years in a row, and this is on and on regarding accomplishments. for us is means an expression of our faith and also means excellence. >> host: we invited you on "book tv" to talk about your book, eternal vigilance: a complete hand become for defending your religious rights." are religious freedoms under attack. >> guest: the are under attack but we have more religious
freedom than people realize sometimes our religious freedom, more often than not, is lost because of people who are in authority not knowing what the freedom is. for example in a public school. someone might think that they have to cleanse the school of any kind of religious expression in order to not violate the constitution. when in fact that's not what the law is. in fact, the law is more on the side of equal access, equal opportunity, so that you have both viewpoints. for example, with regard to student clubs or afterschool operations and programs and so forth. but i think it clearly is under attack, and i think there are people that have agendas or goals to ultimately remove expressions of god or religion from the various public squares. and so we litigate in those areas, but of all the things we do -- for example, through liberty counsel, public interest law firm, 95% of the work we do
is resolved just simple employ through education, because of the misinformation out there. once you set the record straight people can make the right decision. >> host: let's take common examples our viewers are probably familiar with. bible clubs in public high schools. are they allowed? >> guest: yes, absolutely. they're allowed. there's a federal law called the equal access passed in 1984 and affirmed by the united states supreme court and there's the good news club decision of 2001 that talks about after-school programs that may not bet student initiated, do be adult initiated, and but they're after school programs and their permissible, as long as the club that is not student initiated or student-led has other secular programs, secular viewpoints, on a subject matter. and typically the school must also allow religious viewpoints on the other large permissible subject matters.
>> host: nativity scenes on public property. >> guest: a clear example of misinformation. the misinformation is you can't have a nativity scene on public prompt but in fact that's not true. the only area that you need to look at for a nativity scene is if it's a publicly sponsored nativity scene on public property. if it's just a religious symbol, it would be found to be unconstitutional. but if you also add within that context secular symbols of the holiday, such as santa claus and the reindeer, it is constitutional and there's many cases upholding that proposition. in fact even the united states supreme court set that precedent. so that's a clear area where there's a misunderstanding you can't have a nativity scene because it's unconstitutional, which is not true. >> host: ten mad. -- ten commandments in the court. >> guest: before 1979 there were very few ten commandment cases
in the history of america. buttin' 1999 there was a program led by different organizations to file suit against the ten commandments, and that's a little more vague in some respects than a nativity scene. still the same is essentially true. you can have the ten commandments standing alone in certain situations, like in texas where the supreme court upheld a six-foot granite monument that had been there for 40 years. is was there in a park and wasn't close in proximity to other monuments, and the supreme court said that was permissible. on the other hand ex-if you have the ten commandments standing by itself that may lend itself to more of a constitutional challenge, but it has been upheld in the context of the ten commandments and other symbols pertaining to law because the ten commandments have influssed the law and government. the nine inch circuit court of appeals, the seal on the web site and the courtroom has the
ten commandments in the seal, and at the united states supreme court there's a lot of different symbols and different kinds of depiction office law-givers and the most prominent one is the ten commandments. over 50 displays both inside and outside the supreme court building itself. >> host: matt staver, why drew have the pledge of allegiance on the front of "eternal vigilance." >> guest: another situation that has come under attack about the pledge of allegiance being unconstitutional because, adding in the 1950s "under god" and there's been attacks to that, and so because of that, we put that on the very beginning. that is part of the issue of just simply efforts by some to eliminate religious words or phrases from our history, from our culture, and from our symbols, and of course that battle is still going on. went to the united states supreme court. the supreme court ultimately dismissed the case but has never
directly decided it. i suspect if the supreme court does ultimately decide the issue head-on it will find the pledge of allegiance is in fact constitutional. >> host: if liberty university found itself in the position that georgetown university is right now with the birth control issue, how would you approach it? >> guest: we would file a federal lawsuit if we were forced to violate our religious beliefs, and in fact we did file a federal lawsuit called liberty university versus geithner against the patient protection act that is referred to as obamacare. and our case is spending at the united states supreme court. we raised not only the constitutional lack of authority under the commerce clause and the taxing and spending clause but also a violation of the first amendment free exercise clause by forcing liberty university and its employees to provide funding for or subsidize abortion or sterilization.
so we would aggressively defend our constitutional rights. >> host: where did you go to school and grow up. >> guest: i went to college and seminary in michigan and then went to law school at the university of kentucky lexington. >> host: how long have you been at liberty. >> guest: i founded liberty council, national public interest law firm, and through that became friend of dr. farwell and litigated some historyache cases in virginia that extend back to thomas jefferson in which church were not allowed to hold land like other corporations, and we ultimately got that overturned after a couple hundred year law under the united states constitution. and from those conversations with dr. farwell, we gap talking about the idea of a law school, and that was in the 1990s, and the law school opened in 2004, and dr. far well asked me to be the dean.
i declined. he asked me a second time, i decleaned ex-and when he asked me the third time i ultimately became the dean of the law school in 2006. >> host: do you have another book? >> guest: i have one book in the process of developing. one is about the freedoms we have in america and also about activism and motivation i've been very moved by reading biographies of wilber force and others like him, and so my desire is to ultimately education and empower a new generation to make our community and our world a better place. >> host: we have been talking with matt staver, dean of the liberty university law school. vice president of the university. also a professor of law and the author of this book "eternal vigilance: a complete handbook for defending your religious rights." >> guest: thank you. >> you're watching "book tv" on c-span2.
>> "book tv" is at the annual conference here washington, dc, and we're joined by richard fenton, the co-author or this book, what would lincoln say. who is eric kraus. >> guest: eric kraus is a secret service agent who is the nemesis of our main character, eric landover, who is actually the person who is the hero of the book. >> host: what's the theme? what's the plot? >> guest: well, if you can imagine that a couple of secret service agents are watching the moper toes at the white house, in the middle of the night there's a blackout suddenly a maintenance standing on the back lawn of the white house who looks just like abraham lincoln. he is arrested and he insisted he is really abraham lincoln and he says he has a message for
barack obama. >> host: what's the message. >> guest: most people assume that people expect that abraham lincoln did everything right and wants to correct obama's efforts and he would say that lincoln made mistakes and sent down a slippery slope. >> host: where did you get the idea? >> guest: the idea was funny. we were driving in a car and i said, literally, what happen if abraham lincoln showed up on the white house line and if he could get five minutes with barack obama, what would he say and how much would be pay to hear that conversation. >> host: where is this book available and how are you doing saleswise? >> guest: we're i giving away cops here, and the book is available at what would lincoln